I am lying on the couch with my eyes closed. It is one of those gentle reveries that have been really soothing lately. Awake but not quite. Drifting into the hazy mists of a nap but still aware of the soft susurration of noises that surround me.
The hum of the fridge; the gentle whoosh of the laptop fan; the creak of a door somewhere; the pitter patter of autumn rain outside; the song.
Wait a minute. A song?
'Last Christmas, I gave you my heart....’
In my semi-nap my brain told me that I had no music playing and yet the song sounds close enough to my ears.
‘But the very next day, you gave it away’
I still have my eyes closed but tilt my head to check if this is some weird internal monologue or whether there actually is an external source. Of course, it would be much easier to open my eyes but my eyelids are resting and refuse to budge.
‘This year, to save you my tears...’
I realise that the song isn’t going to stop and that I will have to open my eyes. My eyelids groan and want to give it another second. After all, I have been under a lot of stress lately and perhaps my brain is playing games. Wham-Games!
‘I gave it to someone special...’
My ears however, come on board much quicker. The tympani perk up and decide to pay attention. Now it isn’t George Michael’s mellifluous vocals that are caressing my ear. Instead, the voice is akin to a badly tuned tractor engine. It had all the finesse of a p-p-p-performing pig with painful pharyngitis.
Yet it is strangely familiar. I have heard it before... a few months ago.
I sit up with a jolt. I fear the worst.
‘So did you miss me?’ says Pandemonicum Grenvillard Woodimp (or for those dear readers who are familiar with this infestation, P.G. Woodimp) He is sitting on a recliner few feet away from my couch, preening like a hairy primate in a beautifully cut suit.
‘ Like a pimple on my bum’ I say, rather unkindly.
Fact is, I have been missing his mad meanderings. I have not had the pleasure of his company for a few weeks. I had extricated myself from the hubpages temporarily due to family demands and had thought the Imp would come back and pester me but disappointingly he never did. Until today.
‘ Ah. You are still under stress, dear boy. Grief is a strange concoction. It makes us lash out at those we love’
I fold my arms above my head and sigh. ‘Who says anything about love. I don’t love you.’
The Imp steeples its fingers under a contemplative chin and cocks its head to one side.
“The question, dear boy, is not whether you love me or not. It is whether you still love yourself and your art enough’
I bite my lips. When the Imp strips away my psyche I always feel my throat tightening. I call it my Freudian choke.
“Thats rather deep for a Sunday afternoon.” I say wearily.
“You deserve nothing less. I am not one of those shallow, frivolous Imps from the 4th dimension. You know the ones who sing Irish drinking songs all day and hone their one-liners? While they are funny and rather good company when inebriated, deep they ain’t.” The cut-glass accent sounds strange with a voice like that.
I slide down the couch. I know I am going to get the full works from the Imp today. Resistance is futile. Thankfully there is no one in the house and I didn’t want to be caught talking to an empty chair. The Imp has indicated to me in the previous appearances that it only manifests to my eyes by choice.
“To what do I owe this dubious pleasure?”
The Imp stands up. stretches and approaches the side board. I know where it is headed. I keep a decanter of decent single malt there. It is my favourite malt, Glenrothes. I haven’t touched the stuff for ages. He pours a couple of fingers into two glass tumblers and hands one over to me.
“Sláinte!” He gulps it down and goes”brrr” in a fake shiver.
I sip mine and relish the golden liquid sliding down my gullet. Mmmm. I start to feel a tad alive again.The Imp sits back in the chair. This time instead of a suit it seems to wearing a short white dress.
“Maybe you’ll pay more attention to the feminine form” It chuckles and crosses its legs lasciviously and very slowly.
I swallow a scream. “Don’t ever.” I lift a stern index finger, “Don’t ever do that again. It’s wrong in so many ways. I have no desire to ogle at your miniature crown jewels or whatever they are.”
“Sorry. I was merely showing you my Freudian ‘slip’.” The Imp winks. “I know when you start insulting me that your spirit is on the up and up”
“To what do I owe this visit?”
“I felt a bit bad after dangling you to Accubus the Succubus. I was merely aiming to tease out the hub-killer. That is old hat now. A lot has happened since. The hub missed you, dear boy. But not as much as you have missed the hubs.”
I nodded, feeling rather guilty. I had been neglecting my creative urges following a traumatic few weeks. I slide down the couch and sip some more scotch to mop away the guilt.
“No one will miss me. I am just a speck in the hub-verse. Every day hundreds of talented scribes sign up, write hubs and create traffic. “
He's a Maniac
The Imp, thankfully, is back in its suit. It now has a notepad and is scribbling away like a maniac.
“Indolence and procrastination are inherent in your constitution. As are self -pity, guilt and cognitive dissonance. But do keep talking.” it urges.
“I do love writing though. The pleasure of creation - be it a poem, story or an article is an addiction. The power I have over my literary universe is intoxicating yet frightening. At one end I know I can write anything I want for my own delectation. At the other, I know I need validation, readership and feedback. It is a strange dichotomy. A strange symbiosis”
“I go through phases like a binge drinker. Words pour out of me and onto the screen when I am wired. I can’t physically stop. But then, there are times when real life and its demands take over. Does this mean I am not passionate enough about this craft? Have I relegated it to a fancy dream? a pie in the sky?"
“ I feel writing is in my DNA. It is hardwired into my being. I want to keep doing it. Despite my professional roles, family responsibilities and other interests, this remains my spark. The creative magma that fires my insides. Yet I relegate it as a hobby...”
" I can't deny an idea when it gestates inside me. This creative pregnancy and the eventual birth of a finished product can be a painful yet powerful journey. The afterglow of being a proud parent of a hub is incredible. All the more rewarding when fellow hubbers appreciate your progeny!"
I stop, feeling a bit silly. I scratch my hair and blink away some dust in my eyes. The throat relaxes and the weight that I had been carrying around on my chest and head lifts. My brain snaps back into action and a thousand, nay, a million ideas spark around my synapses.
“Wow!” I say.
“Exactly.” Says the Imp with an, er.., Impish grin.
“What did you do?”
What do you do
PG Woodimp stands up and stretches. I hear something creak.
“No, dear boy. The question is, What did -you- do?”
I jump up and hug the furball for the first time. He feels cuddlier than I thought.
I sniff and smile. “Does this physical display of emotion contravene the Author- Imp relationship?”
The Imp pats me on my back, “Only if you grab my bum, Docmo, only if you grab my bum”
We move away quickly as men tend to do after a random act of Bromance like handholding or hugging, especially when not related to a sporting event.
I look at him up and down. “Nice suit, by the way. Armani?”
The Imp flicks a speck off its immaculate lapels. “No. There is a Savile Row of Impworld in the 23rd dimension. The suitmaker Imp is incredibly talented. And acts as consultant sometimes to Ted, Giorgio, Hugo and Paul”
“You don’t say.”
“I can get him to measure you for a suit. You’ll love his cut. Only one thing, just watch it when he does your inside legs. He can get a bit close”
I involuntarily cross my legs. “ I think Il pass for now.”
PG walks towards my laptop and opens it with a flourish. “So what are you waiting for, your world awaits.”
I crack my knuckles and grin. “Thanks, PG. You are a pal.”
“You are welcome, or as they say in Impish, ‘Grabalathena Multungu’ I need to teach you my language sometime”
I nod . “Will you come back?”
The Imp walks towards my bookshelf into a cloud of sulphurous smelling yellow vapour, “I have some business with an masseuse impette I met at a dragon racing event in the 7th dimension. I have some aching muscles she could take care off.... but I’ll be back, dear boy. You can’t keep me away for long.... see ya soon”
He is gone and the greenish yellow vapour dissipates leaving a vague smell of a firecracker.
I walk towards my laptop knowing well that my favourite fellow hubbers will be there, always supportive, always giving and always creative in their endeavours.
It’s good to be back.
There is a loud crack and through a circle of fizzing light I could see PG Woodimp lying on a massage table with an impette walking slowly on his back.
"Oh, I forgot something. dear boy"
“Happy anniversary! It has been 12 months since you joined hubpages.”
But I have lost him to the pleasures of the 7th dimension.
The Imp’s face suddenly goes lax. “Ahhh, there, there, I think she has found a sweet spot .... Bye bye!”
The Imp returns in 'Impception'
© 2011 Mohan Kumar